I walked over to Easton and sat down next to his limp body. I began to debate in my head whether I should leave him there, or if I should wait until he wakes up.
I heard footsteps coming our way. Assuming it was a teacher, I started shaking Easton, trying to wake him. The footsteps grew louder as they came closer. There is no way I’m getting detention at the very end of the day. In panic I raised my hand and slapped Easton with as much force I could.
Easton’s eyes flashed open and his arms swung to his face, but it took a few seconds for him to croak what sounded like “OW!”
I stood up and grabbed his arm, trying to get him up so we can get away. He was laying down, trying his hardest to not cooperate with me.
“Dammit Easton, do you want detention?”
“Shut up!” Easton threw his leg up which ended up hitting me right below my chin. My jaw snapped shut on my tongue, my mouth was quickly filled with the taste of blood, and right when my tongue was done healing from last time. I put my hand to my now aching face. I tried yelling at Easton but I ended up choking on my blood.
“Who are you?” I heard Easton say. I looked up to see Class Rep. I laughed to myself.
“It’s only you Class Rep.” She stared at me with a look of confusion and annoyance.
“What were you morons doing?” I wiped off the blood that had fallen down my chin with the sleeve of my shirt before I answered her question with “We’re killing zombies.”
She raised her eyebrow. “Oh really.”
“Really” Easton confirmed for me. I looked over to Eason, who had a very clear red hand mark on the right side of his face.
“We kill zombies for a living.” I immediately face palmed the moment those words escaped Easton lips. Idiot.
“Of course you do.” Class Rep said sarcastically.
“Have you seen any zombies lurking around lately?”
“Um, no?” A smile spread across Easton’s face.
I couldn’t help but smile. It was so stupid that it made sense. I was surprised when I heard Class Rep laugh.
“There’s no zombies because you killed them all.”
“I’m glad that you understand.”
“I see that you’re skipping, Class Rep.” I said. She pulled out a note from her pocket.
“Actually, I have a pass. What about you, Grey? Do you have a pass?” I noticed the playful smile on her face.
“Yeah about that… Easton and I have to go get them.” I looked over to Easton, signaling him to follow me, and he did.
“Later Class Rep” She rolled her eyes
As we walked away I heard her shout “And my name is Alexandra”. I smiled and nodded my head.
When I arrived to my house I jumped onto my bed, plugged in my headphones to my phone, and laid there listening to music.
Gages texted me, asking if he could come over. I texted back “sure”. He came over about thirty minutes later. He told me that he got in a bad fight with his parents, so he’ll probably be with me for a while.
“Do have this whole place to yourself?” Gages said, looking around the house.
“For the most part.”
I showed him around the house and let him use a guest room as his room for now. We never needed the stupid room, my dad isn’t in touch with any of his family, so it’s not like it ever got used.
“Your place is way better than mine.” Gages said
“Yeah, too bad it’s so empty”
“Yeah, what is it?”
“What are you planning on doing now?”
“I was going to go on a walk at the park.”
“But’s freezing out.”
“Then I’ll bring my jacket”
I was about to leave, but before I did I asked Gages if he wanted to come. He decided not to come, he said he wasn’t into walking in cold weather. I personally liked cold weather. It was only October, so it wasn’t even that cold to begin with.
The park is a walking distance of five minutes to my house, so I got there quickly. I listened to the crunching of leaves beneath my foot as I walked. I kept breathing heavily, trying to see my breath in the air, but it wasn’t cold enough out. The trees were mostly bare of brown leaves, most of them had already fallen.
I walked past the spot of the trail where Easton ran into a tree, getting Charlotte covered in leaves. We ended up throwing piles of leaves at each other, calling each other names.
I laughed to myself. I tried to understand how Charlotte wanted to eat lunch with the two of us. She was an odd girl, but she was also probably the most joyful person I ever met. Being around her made me feel an obligation to be more optimistic.
When I opened the door to my house I hear a small yelp and pounding on the stairs. I walked over to the flight of stairs.
Easton was lying face flat on the bottom of the staircase. There were clothes scattered all over the staircase. I looked to the top of the staircase to see Gages.
“Oh, hey Grey.” Gages smiled innocently.
“What were guys doing?”
“Oh Easton asked me to push him down the stairs in a trashcan, but to put clothing in it so it wouldn’t hurt as much.”
“It didn’t hurt any less, by the way” Easton said groaning. I looked over to Easton.
“Easton do you have a fetish for trashcans or something?” He immediately sat up.
“Hell no! No one has a fetish for trashcans that’s just… weird!”
“Hey, it’s okay if you do, I mean, I’ll still be your friend but it is kind of weird.” I said joking
“I’m telling’ you I don’t have a fetish for trashcans!”
“I kid, I kid, I know you don’t have a fetish for trashcans. Calm down.”
“I hate to be that fat freeloader, but Grey I’m starving.” Gages broke in.
“I’m hungry too.” Easton said
“Then go home.” I told Easton
“Hey, you owe me a dozen cans of soda and a can of red bull. Not to mention the time I spent scrubbing your puke out of my carpet and…”
“Okay, I get it, a meal for three then.”
I ended up ordering two pizzas for the three of us. We sat at the table. Gages opened one of the pizza boxes and put every slice of the pizza on his plate. Easton and I stared in shock.
“Hey Lardzilla, how about you save some pizza for us.” Easton said. Gages pointed at the second box of pizza.
“There’s still a pizza left.” He said.
“That’s not fair, you get a whole pizza and we only get half.”
“Life’s not fair.”
“Don’t make excuses”
Easton looked over to me. “Grey!” I groaned.
“I swear, you’re such a kid.”
I had Gages put back all the pizza slices and we all ate one slice at a time. Easton only ate one slice and said he wasn’t really hungry.
“Wow, you made such a big deal over the pizza and you eat one slice.” Gages.
“Shut-up you freeloader.”
“This isn’t your house either, so you can’t be talking”
“I am a guest.” Easton said while putting his fingers in his hair dramatically with an idiotic smile present. “Not to mention that Grey comes over to my house and eats all my food almost every day.”
“Easton, how can I eat all your food when you never have any to begin with?”
“Did you forget about the pack of soda?”
“That’s not a food but I see your point.”
A little while after dinner Easton went home. I went in my room and started playing Golden Eye 007, which features a single-player campaign in which players assume the role of British Secret Intelligence Service agent James Bond as he fights to prevent a criminal syndicate from using a satellite weapon against London to cause a global financial meltdown.
Gages walked into my room. “A Nintendo 64? Just how old is that thing?”
“It’s pretty old.”
“Do you have any other gaming councils?”
Gages asked me if I had Mario Kart 64. I told him I did and he asked if we could play, but I only had one controller. I let Gages play whatever he wanted to.
I crawled into my bed and closed my eyes. I thought of when Easton and I first met in last year, with the sound of Moo Moo Farm in the background. I ended up falling asleep with what felt like a smile on my face.
“How do you mend a broken pumpkin?” Easton asked while scrolling through his phone.
“I don’t know, how do you?” Charlotte said, encouraging Easton to be annoying.
“With a pumpkin patch.”
They both started laughing while I acted like I wasn’t sitting with them. “Okay, enough cheesy jokes, for today…. Or forever”
“One more!” Easton said scrolling through his phone in search of another “good” joke or riddle.
“What’s a snowman’s favorite breakfast?”
“I don’t know, what?”
They both fell into a fit of laughing. I rolled my eyes, but smiled. “Okay, you said that- that was the last one so no more riddles.”
“Aw come on Grey, don’t be such a buzz kill.” Charlotte said nudging my arm jokingly.
“Yeah, come on Grey.” Easton joined in.
I nodded my head. I will never join in on jokes that I can read on a Popsicle stick.
In detention I daydreamed of being stuck in a video game. I, myself, was one of the characters in Mario Kart. I was able to meet Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, and the others too. They trapped me within the game. In order for me to escape the game I had to win first place in every race. I was about to get out of the game, but Mr. Muller snapped me back to reality, where there were no blue shells or weird doggies or banana’s used solely to trip people. What a depressing reality.
“Who daydreams about Mario Kart?” Gages asked me when we were walking home.
“It’s your fault for playing it last night.”
We playingly argued until we got to my house. When we got to my house I relaxed in my room for a bit. I then told Gages I was heading over to Easton’s apartment.
“Oh, hey Grey.” Easton said, laying under his St. Bernard. I walked past Easton and the dog and went to the fridge. There was a box of fudge pops in his freezer, so I took one.
“Hey, you can’t just walk in here, not get this dog off of me, and eat my fudge pops, you dingus”
“…Oh well, too late now. I really am sorry though, I didn’t know any better.”
Easton squeezed out from under the dog and pointed a finger at me. “Don’t be sarcastic with me!”
“Sarcasm? What’s that?”
“That’s it!” Easton started pointing and yelling at the dog, telling it to attack me. It first tilted its head in confusion, and then started jumping on Easton, eventually knocking him to the ground.
“Hey Easton, have you came up with a name for that dog yet?”
“Then let’s come up with a name right now. What do you think his name should be?”
“Fat Albert?” Easton advised. I laughed
“That’s too long, I think we should name him Beefcake.”
“I like that name.” Easton laughed
“Then Beefcake it is.” I smiled.
I was walking through the trail in the park after leaving Eason’s apartment; probably not the smartest thing to do at one in the morning.
A figure had become visible in the far distance of the trail. At first it looked like no more than a splotch of darkness. The both of us kept walking towards each other, shortening the distance between us. The splotch of darkness became the figure of a person. As the distance shortened even more I could tell it was a girl, and eventually I noticed that her features seemed strangely familiar.
The girl stopped before passing me, I smiled. “I’m really curios to why you’re walking in a trail at this time of night, Class Rep.” She stared at me. It was dark out, but I could see the outline of Class Rep. Her thin, straight hair that only slightly fell over her shoulders, her bold, brown eyes that always seemed ablaze, and her nonchalant, yet careful way of expression.
Before she said anything, she sighed, which left a small puff of cold air settle there for a few seconds, and then spoke. “I just really needed a breather, that’s all.” She said tiredly. Her eyes then looked down to the ground. They no longer seemed bold and ablaze, but hollow and dreary.
At that moment I wanted nothing more than to know what was going through her mind.
“I’m tired, I think I’ll go home now. Goodnight Grey, see you in class.” Class Rep said and began walking.
“Then let me walk you to your house, its dark out.”
“I’m fully aware of the obvious, I can walk home on my own”
“It’s one in the morning, if something were to happen to you-”
“I don’t need your advice, Grey. You’re not my father!” Her voice raised. I felt this weird twisting feeling in my stomach and an overall feeling of annoyance.
“I don’t see what the big deal is but-”
“Alexaaaandraaa!” I heard a voice nearby shout.
“Crap.” Class Rep said as she went behind a tree and buried herself in pile of leaves.
“Whatever you do, do not let them know that I’m here.” She whispered
“Alexaaandraaaaa!” The voice repeated closer than before and I could hear the clattering of running feet.
Before I could ask or even wonder what was going on, a man and woman appeared from the curve of the trail.
“Alexandra Scarlett Olivine, if you’re here then you better show yourself.” A woman who appeared to be rather tall and had short curly hair, said. She looked at me.
“Hey you, have you seen a girl that’s sort of tall, has golden brown hair just pass her shoulders and is wearing an oversized black sweater?” The woman said, the man stood behind her, staring at me.
I glanced over to the leaf pile that Alexandra had hid herself in. Although I wasn’t sure what was going on, and Alexandra could well be the one in the wrong, but after her having to deal with me almost every day, I felt I owed her at least this.
“No I haven’t, sorry.”
The woman sighed and turned to face the man. “Let’s look for her elsewhere.” They only nodded, and they left.
Alexandra stood up and brushed off all the leaves that had managed to stick onto her clothes. She walked back onto the trail.
“Are those your parents?”
“I ask again, what are you doing out here?”
She sighed, and used her hand to bring her hair behind her ear. She looked me in the eye, as did I. “My parents and I were told some pretty bad news. I panicked and stormed out of the room.” Alexandra looked at the ground. “And now they’re looking for me.” She said blandly, making sure it didn’t seem like it was a big deal.
Alexandra and I walked back in silence. It was a nice silence, listening to our feet clatter on the cement and crunch against the dead leaves, the slight but noticeable wind, and seeing our breath from the cold.
I decided to break the silence.
“You know, you seem a lot like your mom.”
“Oh my gosh.”
“I’m serious, you both seem so stern and assertive.”
“Please stop, I think I might puke.” She said with a small smile played on her face. I laughed, glad that I was able to relieve a small fragment of the melancholy that surrounded us.
We made it back to the entrance of the trail. I could see Alexandra better from the street lights now. I looked at her and noticed that her eyes seemed swollen and red. She had been crying before she ran into me.
I think she could tell that I noticed her eyes were swollen, since she turned her head so that I couldn’t see her face. She said she would call her parents and tell them where she was so they could pick her up. She told me to go ahead and go home and that her parents would recognize me if they saw me and she would be fine. So I did.
When I entered my house, Gages was laying on the living room couch playing on his phone. He looked over to me.
“What the hell where you doing at Easton’s house so late.”
“Killing zombies, the usual.”
I lied in my bed. My mind fell on Alexandra. I noticed I have stopped calling her Class Rep. Perhaps it had to do with seeing a different side of her. It was the first time I had heard her raise her voice or look angry. I’ve seen her annoyed with me several times, but not ever angry.
I have grown curious of Alexandra. What was she going through right now? Even when I asked her for a better answer it was still pretty vague.
I fell asleep with the image of Alexandra burying herself in a leaf pile in my mind.
Two weeks had passed and Charlotte hadn’t come to the courtyard. I began wondering what could possibly be wrong. Charlotte doesn’t seem like the type of person to ignore someone, even if she disliked them. She told me she had a cold when we first met. That was four weeks ago.
I thought of how she told me about having to repeat her senior year because of too many sick days. There’s no way she only had a cold and still doesn’t feel better four weeks later. And now she’s been gone. The possibility of Charlotte having something more severe or even fatal than a mere cold is starting to seem more likely. I felt stupid for not thinking of this sooner.
For days I was trying to think of some way I could see Charlotte or get in contact with her. I tried to get information through the principle, but he refused to tell me anything about her. I asked Easton to track down her homeroom class, since he had always been able to track down all of Greg’s classes. To my surprise, Easton was able to find out her homeroom class.
The next morning, I went to what was supposedly Charlotte’s homeroom. The teacher was standing by the door of the classroom, so made a diversion.
I walked up to the teacher. “Excuse me teacher, there’s like twelve guys smoking weed in the bathroom.” I said pointing down the hallway. The teacher cursed under his breath and rushed over to the bathroom.
I walked in the classroom and jumped on the teacher’s desk, making a loud noise. Most of the students looked up at me.
“Do any of you know the whereabouts of Charlotte or what happened to her?” I said loud enough so that everyone could hear me. All the students looked confused and dumbfounded. I heard a lot of murmurs asking who that was.
“Do any of you know or remember a Charlotte being in here?” Everyone nodded their head. Nobody even knew who she was.
“I remember her.” I looked over to a girl with light brown hair and blue eyes.
“She sat next to me.”
I walked over to where the girl sat.
“Do you know where I could find her?” I asked. The girl only nodded her head.
“She was here for the first week of school that was it. I haven’t even seen her since then.”
“Hey false weed alarm, get out of my classroom.” I heard the teacher behind me. I stood up and walked out of the classroom annoyed at what a waste of time this had turned out to be.
I was now eating lunch with Easton. Charlotte wasn’t here once again.
“So you’ve gotten no luck with Charlotte.”
“Nope, I still don’t know anything about her.”
I lingered on what I said for a bit. Easton and I really don’t know that much about Charlotte. Now looking back, I don’t think she really talked that much. She would listen to the crazy stories Easton and I had to tell. She engaged the both of to tell those stories and laugh along with everything. But she never talked about herself or any of her interests unless I pursued it.
“Ugh this seriously sucks.” Easton said, and I agreed in my head. This really sucks.
Easton had followed me home that day. We both laid on the living room floor. Gages stepped in the room. “Hey Grey, I got some coo-” He stopped and looked at me and Easton.
“Wow, I can literally feel the gloominess radiating off of you two.”
I forced out a laugh and got up off the ground. I helped Easton off the ground. Gages looked at us. “Like I was saying, I got some cookies”. We all pretended this was the best thing to ever happen to us and then ate the cookies.
I stood out in the hallway with Alexandra. I had been kicked out Miss Vanderman’s class. I looked through the window. There was no one sitting on the old broken bench anymore.
Alexandra moved so that she was standing at my side. “She isn’t there anymore.” I said.
“You know, you’re really good at pointing out the obvious.” Alexandra said. I turned my head to look at her.
“Alexandra, were you lying when you said that you didn’t know that girl?” She turned her head to look at me, and then looked back towards the window and smiled.
“That’s the first time you called me by my name.”
She started walking. “I should bring you to security now.” We walked silently down to the security office. She never did answer my question.
In detention I sat next to Easton. Oddly, Gages wasn’t there. Easton and I talked amongst ourselves.
“Do you think we should be worrying so much on a girl we barely know? I mean, I’m sure that Charlotte’s fine.” Easton said. He was right, we don’t really know Charlotte, and she’s probably fine. There is no reason that I should be so bothered by an acquaintance,
There was strange a feeling I held towards Charlotte disappearing without saying anything. It felt so familiar. For some reason I associated this with when my mom had first died. I was well aware it was going to happen, her doctor predicted her death that day after all. It’s more that when she had died I thought my dad would stop spending so much time working, and spend more time playing the father role. But that never happened.
Charlotte was probably fine, but I wanted to spend more time with her. She was vivacious and vibrant. Her jaunty body language never failed to engage me. She was like a scintillating light, and that’s a light that I wanted in my life. I guess I have become rather fond of Charlotte.
“Yeah, you’re probably right.” Is all I said.
Easton and I had just exited the school when the girl that told me she sat next to Charlotte stopped us to talk to me. The wind blew her hair in frenzy. She said she wanted to tell me something.
“I remember one other thing about Charlotte. She mentioned having a sister a few times. Apparently she goes here too.”
“Well how am I supposed to find her sister?”
“I think I might be able to remember Charlotte’s last name.”
I stood in silence while the girl tried thinking of Charlotte’s last name. I didn’t take too long.
“I remember, it was Olivine, Charlotte Olivine.”